How do I prepare for a kick off meeting with an investor? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Congratulations on finding an investor for your business!
Remember that this is a relationship and in good relationships there is open communication, clear expectations (or at least working towards clarity), and mutually beneficial outcomes.
Preparation for your meeting depends upon the investor's style and yours. Are they very organized and expect you to be as well? Are they very busy and expect you to be super organized and prepared for the meeting? Are they spontaneous or reactive or proactive? Perhaps you've already established what your interactions with the investor are like and already have an idea of your respective styles, but if you haven't yet, it will take some time to figure it out.
Based on personal experience as an investor, as well as someone who communicates with investors, here are my suggestions for preparing for a kick-off meeting.
- Take the lead on drafting a simple agenda, share it with your investor ahead of time, and invite them to add or change agenda items.
- Present your plan covering a reasonable timeframe, with your targets and milestones, develop the questions you want to ask your investor/mentor, and allow plenty of time to listen.
- Get clear on expectations, solicit feedback, and listen.
- Think about how frequently you want to meet, what the interaction/communication will be like between meetings, and address this before the close of your meeting.
- Be yourself, be honest, and listen.
As far as what to wear, think about what you'd wear when no one is looking. Now think about what you'd wear for an important meeting. Then choose to wear something comfortable that is in between those two ends of a spectrum.
This is the beginning of a relationship. You and your investor will get a lot more out of the relationship if you bring your true, authentic self to the meeting. Best of luck!
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